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The Spirituality of Broadway

[caption id="attachment_1962" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP[/caption]

Broadway Shows - More than Just Shows

During my time in New York City, I fell in love with the brilliance of Broadway. Because of the many amazingly talented singers in the city, even church liturgies are cantered by spectacular voices. Talk about praising God! Three of my favorite shows have a spiritual twist that touched my heart. I hope they touch yours as well.  Here they are:

Into the Woods

Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim recounts several famous fairy tales post "happily ever after." Throughout the play, the various characters go "into the woods," a metaphor for a life changing journey. In the woods, one might meet wolves, princes, giants, witches, all kinds of terrifying things and experiences. But as Cinderella sings, "No one is alone. Truly, no one is alone." Each day of our own journey in the proverbial woods, we have help and support - especially from God. We are never alone.


Sometimes, we may be with or supported by people very different than ourselves - people we might even loathe at first. In Wicked, the backstory for The Wizard of Oz, Glinda, the cute little "good" witch meets Elphaba, the green "bad" witch. After a rocky start, they learn to love and respect each other singing "people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow." They discover that "because I knew you, I have been changed for good." How many of us have met wonderful people from whom we learned, who helped us grow and made us better?

Les Misérable

These people aren't just random people we meet. They can make a profound difference in our lives. They can even be the face of God. My all-time favorite Broadway musical is Les Misérable adapted from Victor Hugo's novel. In the epilogue, as Jean Valjean, our hero, lies dying, he is joined by Fantine and Éponine who have already died. They have come to journey with him and Fantine comforts him singing, "Take my hand, I'll lead you to salvation. Take my love, for time is everlasting. And remember the truth that once was spoken, to love another person is to see the face of God."

Change for the better

What great musicals! In the midst of the beauty and drama, song and suspense, we learn that life and change is a journey into a strange dark place. We are accompanied by others who can help us grow and change for the better…companions who we grow to love who show us the awesome face of God. God of the journey, protect us as we journey through the woods. Give us companions who help us see Your face in their love.

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